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Red Cell Folate Testing

Unwarranted and Overutilized in the Era of Folic Acid Supplementation


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Folate and Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Slide 7

November 2010

One critical point to remember prior to initiation of folic acid supplementation is to rule out cobalamin (vitamin B12) deficiency. Unlike dietary folate, synthetic folic acid (pteroylglutamic acid) is reduced directly to tetrahydrofolate without the need for cobalamin as a cofactor. For this reason, the administration of supplemental amounts of folic acid to a B12-deficient patient may correct the megaloblastic hematologic changes but still allow neurologic disease to progress. This damage is often irreversible.

Folate and Vitamin B12 Deficiency


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